Easter Lake Fishery
It’s important for anglers to understand that fisheries are tightly linked to watersheds and water quality. In other words, lakes with protected watersheds and good water quality typically provide better angling. Unfortunately, the Easter Lake fishery has suffered over the years due to changes in the watershed, water quality degradation and the presence of undesirable fish species (mainly common carp & gizzard shad). The lake is currently dominated by stunted bluegill (<7”) and crappie (<9”), which are rarely sought by anglers. The channel catfish and largemouth bass populations are still hanging on, but overall a quality fishing experience is lacking at Easter Lake.
Numerous issues in the watershed will be addressed, but modifications in the lake basin will take place as well. For example, the lake will be drawn down to assist with various construction projects and dredging (deepening). Iowa DNR Fisheries and Polk County Conservation staff plans to take advantage of the low water level and renovate the entire fishery. This process will allow staff to eliminate undesirable fish species from the lake. The spillway will also be modified during this time to prevent undesirable fish species from migrating upstream and reentering the lake. Additional projects will focus on improving angler access, stabilizing shorelines and enhancing fish habitat. The Iowa DNR Fisheries staff will then restock bluegill, largemouth bass, black crappie and channel catfish into Easter Lake as the lake refills.
Below you will see the fish species commonly found in Easter Lake (photos courtesy of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources). Click on each image to learn more.
Easter Lake Fish Species
Undesirable Fish Species Present